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Honolulu-Bound Lanes of Pali Highway Closed Through August

Department of Transportation

Honolulu-bound lanes of the Pali Highway will remain closed through August to complete repairs following the landslides that began on Feb. 18.

The state Department of Transportation announced today that it will be installing a mesh barrier above the tunnel to protect construction crews from any falling rocks or debris.

Crews will then extend the Honolulu-bound tunnel about 80 feet to protect motorists from rocks and debris that make it past the mesh barrier.

DOT Spokesman Tim Sakahara says this work is expected to last through August. In the meantime, he says, the Pali Highway contra-flow will remain open.

“So the morning contraflow from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. will continue in those Kailua-bound lanes and then the afternoon hours from 3 to 7, the access will be open for those people headed to the windward,” says Sakahara. “That also means no weekend access at this point as crews continue to work.”

Sakahara says the DOT will be re-evaluating whether to extend access beyond these hours over the next month or so. According to the DOT, this Ko?olau route sees an average 50,000 trips daily. 

The DOT's Highway Division also announced that it will continue to close the Pi?ikoi onramp to the H-1 eastbound on weekdays during afternoon peak hours from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This decision comes after a six-month pilot closure resulted in time savings of 4.7 minutes for the average 20,000-plus drivers that use the H-1 eastbound between the Middle Street overpass and the Punahou offramp during peak afternoon travel hours. 

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at khiraishi@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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